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Comment on "New York Times on Vista Development"
by Michael Strck — Mar 27
The "backwards-compatibility" argument is very old and has always been bullshit. Making sacrifices in the design of an operating system just so that every crappy POS software runs on any POS legacy hardware is not a good idea. Why didn't they just create a virtual machine that runs all that crap but is completely and utterly shut off from interacting with any other parts of the system? How hard can that be? For Christ's sake, there are Open Source products that enable me to securely and stably run Monkey Island on my G4 PowerBook.

Apple, with a few percent of MSFTs resources, more or less pulled that off with the Classic environment while actually innovating on every front AND making their OS faster and more stable with every released iteration.

And now, they are doing the same in an even more impressive way. Which company just moved their entire platform to a new processor architecture so freaking seamlessly that 90% of its computing populace would not even have noticed it if it hadn't been all over the press? Oh, right, it's Apple, the company which doesn't have to worry about backwards compatibilty so much.

Why? Because they are smarter, very obviously. But also , they made some pragmatic decisions that work very well.

Mac OS X is not a completely rewritten, brand-new insight into OS development, it's built on decades-old engineering. But it's also here, now, and works flawlessly. At the same time, it makes the geniuses that built its foundation feel right at home, as well as the younger open source crowd and small, innovative software developers.

Spotlight, to give just another example, is not WinFS -- but it's not a pipedream, either, and does 90% of the things 99% of all users would ever do with WinFS.

I guess what I want to say is that I personally think that the problems MS has are home-grown. Incompetent management and wrong priorities.
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